Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives Bo Hines, of North Carolina, speaks to the crowd before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward) Bo Hines
Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives Bo Hines, of North Carolina, speaks to the crowd before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Several GOP candidates have been obscuring or hiding their position on abortion rights in recent weeks. So we’ve pulled together a race-by-race breakdown on where they stand. 

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade in June, advocates and Democrats have insisted that the GOP is out of touch with voters on the issue. 

The polling backs them up.

And they think the court’s ruling, which enraged many, will push more voters to cast ballots for Democrats in November. Before the introduction of Republicans’ nationwide abortion ban bill last week, some Republicans running for Congress had sought to obscure or change their language on abortion. Others haven’t wavered from conservative positions.

Abortion in North Carolina
In this 2013 file photo, demonstrators protest the anti-abortion rights positions of the GOP majority in the NC General Assembly. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

And so it is worth considering where Republicans running for North Carolina’s national offices stand on abortion and what they would do if elected.

To do so, Cardinal & Pine has looked at the positions of the candidates in each of North Carolina’s 14 congressional elections and the election for the U.S. Senate, a barometer of where both parties stand on the issue. By and large, the candidates oppose abortion and if elected would be expected to vote with their party to impose strict restrictions or an abortion ban.

It’s worth noting that whether abortion remains legal in North Carolina mightto come down to the outcome of statehouse elections, in which Gov. Cooper’s ability to veto legislation from the GOP majority may be taken away. 

Don’t know who you’ll be voting for? Everyone in North Carolina will vote in the Senate race. Meanwhile, you can find your congressional district by entering your address here. And don’t forget to register to vote before Oct. 14 or during the early voting period. 

U.S. Senate

Not much doubt here anymore.

Republican Ted Budd is one of the GOP cosponsors on the House version of Republicans’ nationwide abortion ban. 

Democrats and the campaign for Cheri Beasley seized on the issue quickly

Budd has an ultra-conservative record on abortion during his time in the U.S. House. He called the overturning of Roe v. Wade a “victory” and co-sponsored legislation that would criminalize an abortion after 20 weeks. 

Budd moved the abortion issue down on a list of issues on his website, the New York Times reported, but hasn’t changed the page like others in the party. 

Beasley said on her website that she would vote to ensure everyone has access to abortion. “With urgent threats to reproductive freedom, and hundreds of laws passed across the country aimed at restricting reproductive freedom, Cheri believes the Senate must take action to protect women’s constitutional rights.” 

NC Democratic US Senate Candidate Cheri Beasley
Cheri Beasley, a Democratic US Senate candidate, speaks to potential voters in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Allison Lee Isley for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

U.S. House

District 1: Democrat Don Davis vs. Republican Sandy Smith: This predominantly blue district features Davis, a state senator and former mayor, against Smith, an entrepreneur who courted controversy during her primary run. 

On abortion, Davis said on his website that “the decision of how and when to start a family is deeply personal.” 

Here’s what Smith said in an online voter guide, “I am not for any exceptions to murder a baby in the womb.” It is her top issue on her website, which says, “I believe that life begins at conception. As your Congresswoman, I will fight every day to protect and defend the sanctity of life, including the unborn.”

District 2: Democrat Deborah Ross vs. Republican Christine Villaverde: U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross tweeted a response to the nationwide abortion bill this week: “This proposal hurts women and is extreme and out of touch with the American people. We cannot give Republicans the power to limit reproductive rights like this.” 

Villaverde does not appear to have responded to the GOP abortion ban on social media — instead focusing in recent days on inflation. 

Her website states a general position on abortion with no specifics. “I know all children are a gift from God and I will fight against any effort to expand taxpayer funding for abortion,” it says. 

District 3: Democrat Barbara Gaskins vs. Republican Greg Murphy: U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy lists a general position opposing abortion on his website. He celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling it a “momentous day” but recent tweets do not show him reacting to the abortion ban bill. 

Gaskins does not list the issue on her website but said in February on Twitter: “Repeat after me: Abortion is healthcare. When I am in Congress, I will fight to codify Roe v. Wade into law.”   

Barbara Gaskins
Barbara Gaskins, a Democratic candidate for Congress in District 3, has spoken out about her support for abortion rights. (Image via Barbara Gaskins’ campaign)

District 4: Democrat Valerie Foushee vs. Republican Courtney Geels: Foushee, a state senator, highlights on her website that she sponsored legislation “to remove barriers for women seeking to obtain an abortion.” 

Geels said on her website that she is “against abortion” and would vote to defund the healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.

District 5: Democrat Kyle Parrish vs. Republican Virginia Foxx: U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx: Rep. Foxx said on her website that she “will never waver in my support of efforts to halt the scourge of abortion, including banning elective abortion on developed, unborn children capable of feeling pain.” 

In May, Parrish shared a personal story about why abortion must be accessible. “We should all have the right to choose,” he said.  

District 6: Democrat Kathy Manning vs. Republican Christian Castelli: U.S. Rep Kathy Manning introduced a bill this year to protect the right to access contraception and notes on her website that she voted to codify abortion rights into law (a bill that passed the U.S. House but was not taken up by the U.S. Senate.) 

Castelli, however, appears to have changed his website, which previously focused on the issue. That said, Castelli’s campaign told FOX8 that his anti-abortion position “will not change.” 

Rep. Kathy Manning
North Carolina Rep. Kathy Manning has been adamant in support for abortion rights post-Roe. Her Republican opponent has been harder to pin down. (Image via Manning’s campaign)

District 7: Democrat Charles Graham vs. Republican David Rouzer: U.S. Rep. Rouzer lists on his website his opposition to gay marriage and his stance against abortion. 

Graham, a state House representative, was once criticized by many on the left for voting to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of an abortion-related bill. Graham now says on his website that he supports “access to reproductive health… Charles believes that difficult health decision should remain between a woman, her family and her doctor. Personally, Charles chooses life, but he believes reproductive health is a Constitutional right, and should not be overturned.”   

District 8: Democrat Scott Huffman vs. Republican Dan Bishop: After U.S. Rep. Alma Adams was arrested for protesting the rollback in abortion rights in July, Bishop tweeted: “Will they be sent to the DC gulag with the J6 prisoners? Fair is fair, right?” 

In other words, Bishop who does not list abortion among the issues on his website, can be expected to vote against abortion rights. Indeed, Bishop is one five NC Republicans who cosponsored the House version of the abortion ban bill this week. 

Huffman does not list the issue specifically on his website but has been vocal about abortion rights on Twitter. He tweeted this week in response to the abortion ban proposal: “The courts returned Roe back to the states. If it was about state rights, then why a federal ban? #maga Republicans are coming after the freedoms of #women. It was never about state rights.”  

District 9: Democrat Ben Clark vs. Republican Richard Hudson: U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson says on his website that he “defends the ban on partial birth abortions and fights against any legislation which seeks to legalize euthanasia.” He was also among the NC Republicans cosponsoring the House abortion ban bill. 

Clark, a state senator, does not list the issue on his website but he said on Facebook this week that Republicans were trying to obscure their real position on the issue. “Don’t be fooled. The Republican #WarOnWomen is alive and well. In November, we can stop them.”

District 10: Democrat Pam Genant vs. Republican Patrick McHenry: U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry doesn’t list the issue specifically on his website but noted in 2020 his support from those who oppose abortion. Notably, McHenry was not one of the Republicans who cosponsored the House ban this week.

Genant said on her website that she would “guarantee women’s health” and “stands firm in her belief that the government should not overstep its boundaries on a woman’s relationship with her doctor and the treatment that is needed.”

District 11: Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara vs. Republican Chuck Edwards: Edwards, a state senator, said on his website that he would continue to fight against abortion in Congress. He has been a primary driver of anti-abortion legislation during his time in the state Senate and favors a total ban on abortions

Beach-Ferrara seeks to draw a contrast on her website by saying she is a “pro-choice pastor” and believes abortion should be a right given the Constitution’s right to privacy. The contest also features a libertarian candidate.

District 12: Democrat Alma Adams vs. Republican Tyler Lee: U.S. Rep. Alma Adams was arrested in Washington, D.C., protesting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion. It is the top issue on her website. And she said on the U.S. House floor, “We must make reproductive freedom the law of the land.”

Lee does not list the issue as one of his “key policies” on his website.

District 13: Democrat Wiley Nickel vs. Republican Bo Hines: This is expected to be North Carolina’s closest Congressional race between Nickel, a state senator, and Hines, a gun shop owner. The two candidates have opposing views on the issue, although Democrats have criticized Hines for changing his website, which used to say that he was “100% pro-life,” according to an archived version. 

Nickel has sought to highlight Hines’ stance on abortion linking to an interview in which Hines said that “abortion is murder.”

“Wiley Nickel has always, and will always, protect women’s rights. While Republicans like Bo Hines are trying to return to the days of back alley abortions,” Nickel’s campaign manager said. 

Bo Hines
Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives Bo Hines, of North Carolina, speaks to the crowd before former President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

District 14: Democrat Jeff Jackson vs. Republican Pat Harrigan: Harrigan told WFAE that he supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade and that abortion rights should be left to the states. He does not list the issue on his website

Jackson, a state senator, has been vocal about abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Jackson highlights his record on fighting anti-abortion bills in the legislature and said “he will continue to stand up against the politicization of women’s health and abortion access that we’re seeing across the country.”